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Re: [wg-d] Interim measures: second thoughts
>> not enough of the WG members are willing to compromise. (In particular --
>> in my personal opinion -- some of the folks most interested in a
>> slow/sparse/highly controlled rollout seem unwilling to make even small
>> concessions.) On that basis, I'm willing to agree with Javier that option
>> (v) is our only realistic choice.
and, at 01:09 PM 9/7/99 -0700, Randy Bush wrote:
>amazingly enough, the folk of the slow/cautious opinion say very similar
>things about your position ('interesting' that a co-chair has a position).
>as the general net.wisdom is that the slow/... can later be changed to a
>faster rollout, but not vice verse, it would seem that a compromise may be
>possible, even if it is not one you prefer.
1. Before I joined WG-C, I had developed some views about gTLD expansion.
That's not unusual: Like most of us, I've been thinking about these issues
for a while. After joining WG-C, I expressed some of my views in posts to
the list. Later on, we had an election for co-chair, and I was elected.
Since then, from time to time, I've posted messages to the list setting out
my personal views (though much less than I had before the election). I
haven't urged my personal views in messages where I've been wearing my
co-chair hat. Indeed, when I was pushing for a compromise on "how many,
how fast" just now, I noted that the proposal did *not* reflect my personal
views, but that I was urging the group to adopt it anyway because I thought
it was our best shot at consensus.
2. Here's some brief background on the recent WG-C discussions of the "how
many, how fast" issue: A while back, it became clear in WG-C that we had
strongly different views on this matter, with regard to both numbers and
process. When we initially focused on numbers, some group members urged a
rollout of five to seven, as in the CORE plan, while others urged a rollout
of dozens or even hundreds. Another person urged that the rollout be one
to three; she later explained that the initial rollout should be just one.
When we moved on to a slightly more sophisticated focus on process, about
half the list members responding to a straw poll agreed with the position
that "[w]ithout regard to whether it would be desirable to have many gTLDs
in the long term, ICANN should proceed now by adding only a few, and then
pausing for evaluation. Only after assessing the results should it
initiate any action to add more." Just under a third of the respondents
expressed support for this opposing position: "ICANN should implement a
plan contemplating the authorization of many new gTLDs over the next few
years. (Example: ICANN might plan to authorize up to 10-12 new registries,
each operating 1-3 new gTLDs, each year, for a period of five years; each
year's authorizations would be staggered over the course of the year.)
This option would place the burden on opponents, if evidence comes in
demonstrating that additional new gTLDs are a bad idea or that the rollout
is too fast, to bring that evidence to ICANN's attention and call for a
halt or a slowdown." Other people expressed views that I characterized in
my report to the list as "neither/both."
It seemed to me, pretty recently, that we were at a point at which the WG
might be able to arrive at a compromise between these positions. In
working out what such a compromise might consist of, I concluded that no
proposal could gain consensus unless it incorporated a first round followed
by an evaluation period. It seemed to me, though, that in return for the
other side giving ground and agreeing to this, there might be some room to
tweak the "how many in the first round?" issue. I proposed that ICANN
begin with a first round of 6-10 new gTLDs followed by an evaluation
period. This is very close to the IAHC plan, and I expected that the "fast
rollout" crowd would have a lot of problems with it — that they would see
it not as compromise at all, but as capitulation to the "go slow" folks.
But it seemed to me that if a critical, central mass of the WG was to come
to any agreement on the "how many, how fast" question, that this was about
what the agreement would amount to.
I got three sets of reactions. First, some people simply signed on.
These included a majority of the "neither/both" crowd, with heaviest
representation from the registrar and noncommercial constituencies.
Second, there was a wary set of questions from the "fast rollout" folks —
neither accepting nor rejecting the proposal out of hand, but wanting to
know more about what the proposal meant, and how the other side would
react. Third, a number of folks in the trademark, business and ccTLD
constituencies rejected the proposal out of hand as expansive and
That's the core of the history underlying my statement, in my earlier
message, that in my view "some of the folks most interested in a
slow/sparse/highly controlled rollout seem unwilling to make even small
compromises." It does seem to me that the proposal called for only a small
compromise from that side, while calling for a large compromise from the
other. I'm not addressing, here, the question of which side's position is
more nearly sound as a matter of Internet engineering. But I think that on
the issue of "willingness to compromise," my statement is only too true.